J.R.R. Tolkien's encounters with ruins in his most famous texts help contribute to a sense of history in Middle Earth. Through these descriptions, he adds time depth to the world he created. Just with the mention of one of these places, like Weathertop, he implies that there are stories beyond what we immediately know as readers. He was sensitive to the fact that the life of people, their beliefs, and all the events that make up their history are intimately connected with a place. This is perhaps not surprising for people who love Tolkien's writing. However, people might not be aware of how he used the archaeological discoveries of his day to provide much of the historical layering that makes Middle Earth such a believable place. In this class, we will explore how archaeology was used to create believable fantasy. You do not need to have previous experience reading Tolkien to enjoy the class.
Dr. Laura Popova